BOO! Did I scare you?! ….My sweet sweet Queenie (listen to that and I remember when you were only a princess!)…..it’s been what five, six years…..too long….a lifetime in some ways. Frankly I didn’t know that restraining orders lasted so long. I know that was at the behest of your father and his ill-willed machinations against our love (always thinking of his reputation and the gin-swilling crowd and nothing else) – but I want you to know that I’m thinking more clearly now – oh so much more clearly than ever before – (and I would never ever dream of putting you in that position again, no never). Still it was kind of him to foot the bill for this place (I’m sure out of respect for my father – – all these parenthetical asides – – will they ever end?! I want to speak straight to the heart of you again as we once did, oh my darling do you remember?!)
Let me tell you a bit about the place, as you must know this part of Europe was overrun by the Fascists and the Commies and just about everyone else without a sense of humor and a fool proof plan for how to lead us all hand in hand, smiling into the glorious future. (Yes yes but where is the style?! Where is the decadence, the champagne, chandeliers and cake forks for God’s sake?!) Well this attempt to iron out history, this war of the ego, has stamped itself indelibly on the land and resulted in a melancholy air which weighs on me some evenings. Still this place, once a grand castle has long since been turned over to the sick (yes I can admit it now, progress n’est-ce pas?) Our days are rigid but not without glimpses of grandeur. We have breakfast, after which we go for our morning constitutional, then classes, followed by supervised free time. Once a week we have group therapy.
They took all of us out to a ‘playhouse’ as they used to call it. We all climbed aboard a bus. You should’ve seen us. What a sight! Piotr was rolled up in a ball weeping from happiness and Robert got so worked up he bit one of the caretakers and had to be ‘put down’ (you could smell the singed hair for a good long while afterward). The play was splendid, just splendid they made pâté out of two boys, there was cellophane and the glitter roared! Afterwards I…I felt like I was buzzing all over like someone had just dusted off the socket and plugged me in you know?!
I felt this immense SURGE of energy rushing through me and I wanted to spin and twirl as we once did; I grabbed a nurse and we started to waltz, she was laughing and I swear I could feel you against me and smell your perfume and then suddenly one of those hulks they call a ‘chaperone’ jerked me out of my reverie with a few swats from his nightstick; well I didn’t take kindly to it. They say he’s in stable condition (I’d pocketed a knife a while back from the kitchen, darling you know how much I covet my knives).
They put in me in a jacket with one sleeve and on a drip of sedatives and sat me in front of some videos. In addition to being assigned extra work duty in the garden they’ve taken away my samovar and I’ve resorted to used teabags *shudder*. But at least they’ve allowed me to continue to write to you my little forget-me-not. I hope these letters find you well, and that we shall meet again soon, until then I’ll keep the kettle on.
Judson Hamilton lives in Wrocław, Poland. Twitter: @judson_hamilton